Tuesday, December 21, 2010

hApPy HoLiDayS from the bEaCh!!

Is it just me, or did Christmas sneak up on us?? This year has gone by incredibly fast!! I do believe what they say...."The older you get, the faster time flies by".

I am so thankful I get to spend the holidays with my family. I am leaving tomorrow to celebrate Christmas in the great state of Oklahoma! Family is so important & I have been blessed with an amazing one!

When I return from my trip, I'll have a new post about floats! I also have a new business opportunity that I'm really excited about. I'll share that with you soon!

And....here is my version of a Driftwood Christmas tree!

Monday, December 6, 2010

8 Blocks

I finally made it to my new home along the Oregon coast! And I am a mere 8 blocks to the beach. I have been there almost every day with my dogs! I have already picked up almost 75 sand dollars! And, I have taken photos of magnificent sunsets.

I feel so revived & re-energized now. It was the change I certainly needed in my life to move forward, clear my mind & start working towards new things! Although, now my mind is beginning to get filled with other ideas & inspiration!

I have been working on my glass fishing float business in between walks, unpacking & exploring. I have already made lots of great connections & I believe I'm going in the right direction!

With that being said, I'd like to share some photos of the area that I've taken the past 2 weeks. I will do a post about glass floats soon!


Ecola State Park

Cannon Beach

Del Rey Beach

The beach at Seaside

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm FINALLY moving to the BEACH!!!!

Many of you don't know this, but I have been trying to sell my house & move for just over a year. Well, I finally sold it & I'm gettin' out of here!!! So long to the cold, dark, loooooong winters & hello to the Oregon coast!!! I'm leaving on November 13th & driving 800 miles to Haines, AK, catching the ferry on the 15th, arriving in Bellingham, WA on the 19th & driving another 300 miles to the Oregon coast! And, being the independent woman I am, I am doing this all alone. Well, I will have the dogs & the cat with me, but no human is accompanying me! I am SO thrilled, but not so thrilled with packing. And, if you can only imagine......I have hundreds of glass fishing floats to drag with me! I just finished wrapping & boxing up about 300 floats that are in my personal collection. Let me tell you........although I adore my floats, they are a total pain in the hiney to pack!!

I packed all of these & many more.............

So, with that said, my time is limited for the next few weeks. However, I will have lots more time after I'm gone, as I am having someone manage my business in Alaska & I will be able to focus more on my blog, my Etsy shop, my website & all things associated with glass fishing floats. And, as you know, that is my passion & it makes me SO happy to know that I will be able to do that!!

I leave you with a quick lesson on different colors of swirls in glass fishing floats & photos from those I have in my collection.

Swirls are simply caused by different colors of glass getting mixed in during the glass blowing process. Often a different color of glass is on the rod the glass blower is using & as the float is getting blown, the other color forms swirls around the circumference of the glass.

Here are some examples.

And finally, I just want to ramble on about something I think is quite important. It's true what they say...."If life hands you lemons, make lemonade". I have had a not-so fabulous past few years. Life has tossed me some curve balls & believe me, I had my share of pity parties, cried plenty of tears & been really ticked off at the world. Through all of that, many lessons have been learned. I am a much stronger person. I regained the spirit I thought I had lost, gained the self-confidence I thought I would never get back & I am more determined than ever to fulfill the dreams & goals I currently have & even some of those I forgot about for a while. If you are reading this & something about what I am saying sounds familiar, I encourage you to put on your BIG GIRL PANTIES (or boxers - just say NO to tighty whities) & fight for your life!!! Life really is short & it seems as if we get caught up trying to please everyone else that we forget to please ourselves. Anyway, that's really all I have to say. It was just on my mind.

I leave you with this.......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glass Float 101: Is it the REAL deal or a FAKE???

I get lots of e-mails from people asking if their float is ‘real’ or ‘fake’, or if a float they want to buy is, in fact, authentic. I asked a fellow glass fishing float collector & friend to explain the difference between authentic floats & reproduction floats. Stu Farnsworth has been a dedicated collector and beachcomber for over 30 years. He has an impressive collection of rare & unique floats. He has also been somewhat of a mentor to me over the past 6 years by sharing his knowledge of glass fishing floats.

Here’s what Stu had to say…..

Glass fishing floats come in three categories - authentic, contemporary and curio.

Authentic glass floats are those that were manufactured for actual usage. Those can be found made with heavy glass and show normal use such as scars and scrapes, chips, dings and sometimes there are signs of sea life encrusted on the glass. Roughly about 30% may have an embossed marking on the float, either on the sealing button, the side of the glass, or possibly on the top of the glass. Often on the larger floats, there are marks on a separate patch of glass.

Below is an example of an authentic float. It has a star embossed on the seal button. This was once used for fishing. This is a really great float given to me by a buddy of mine!

Contemporary glass floats are also made of heavy glass and usually come in beautiful colors. They show no signs of use, other than possibly some surface scratches from rolling around on the floor from the family cat playing with it. These floats are, however, older and were made at the time authentic floats were in full use. This classification of floats was mainly made by larger glass float companies who made authentic floats. Such is the case with Hokuyo Glass Company and the famous FF mark. Many of these floats were made for gift shops, but have the authentic marking embossed on the glass. These come in a wide variety of colors, and even though contemporary, they are still sought after. Below are 2 examples of Hokuyo floats from the collection of Tom Rizzo, who also has a blog about European glass fishing floats called The Sea Hermit.

This is a rare case for contemporary floats, as they were primarily made for gift shops, junk shops and restaurant decor.

Curio floats, or the later floats, showing up in the early 1980’s came in beautiful colors and were pretty much made with paper thin glass. They have no signs of wear whatsoever and would not ever be able to withstand high seas fishing. These floats weigh much less when even compared to a contemporary float. The examples below are all under $10.00 each. This is a common price, as they are bought wholesale for mere dollars.

And I’m adding…..

Contemporary & curio floats are often misrepresented as being authentic. This is typically because people just aren’t aware of what they have. There are a number of contemporary floats on auction sites & in stores that do have marks on the seal buttons, but were made in China or Taiwan. I have seen some with sea horses & wagon wheels. Those are the 2 that come to mind right now. Those usually have thick ropes on them to represent a net. They also come in bright colors. Below is an example of a 12" diameter float. This float was priced almost $70.00 & the actual value is much less than that.

Often a contemporary float will also show signs of use because it has been used in a koi pond or outside for landscaping purposes. This is seen a lot on Ebay where it appears a float has actually been used for fishing. Typically these floats are bright colors such as red, yellow, cobalt blue, purple, orange, etc. These are beautiful, but they are not authentic. As Stu mentioned, they are also about the same weight as an authentic float & were manufactured while authentic floats were being made. If you don’t mind whether or not a float is authentic, then this might be okay for you. These floats should be priced rather inexpensively.

Below is an example of a contemporary glass fishing float. Although this float is quite possibly vintage (1950's), it is not a working float. I asked a fellow collector to take a look at this & he confirmed this with me. This is a float that would have been made for the gift trade. Although it is purple, because it is not an authentic (working) float, it is not rare & collectible.

Another curio float is in the shape of a square or cube. They are typically 2" - 3" cubed. These were NEVER used for fishing & were simply made for the gift trade. These also get misrepresented as being authentic floats. They also come in a variety of colors & have mold lines. Many were made by Hokuyo Glass Co out of Aomori Japan in the late 1950's for gift shops. Some were also made in Taiwan. Often there is a faint embossing on one of the square ends that says "MADE IN TAIWAN". These are worth a bit more than the Japanese versions, but are still inexpensive. Below are examples of these types of floats.

Bottom line....if you are specifically looking for an authentic glass fishing float, this information should be somewhat helpful in telling the difference. I just looked on Ebay & there are hundreds of 'fake' floats listed. It's no wonder people are so confused. If in doubt, just ask the seller. Hopefully they will give you an honest answer. And, feel free to write & ask me for help. If I am unsure, I will help you find an answer!!

I leave you with this amazing glass fishing float I found on the beach myself! The next post will be about different colors of swirls in floats!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sorry for Neglecting You!!

So, I found out that like everything else I try in my life, I start it & then I get temporary ADD. Hope I don't offend anyone, but that's the best way I can describe it. I get so side-tracked with so many different things. I think Heather at SimpleDaisy seems to relate to me! So sorry for neglecting my blog & my blog friends. I'll try harder to stay fOcUsEd!!!

For now, here is a quick lesson about glass fishing floats with spindles!

Spindles are formed inside glass fishing floats during the glass blowing process, or when they are formed in molds (depending on how they are made). They are simply threads, or filaments, of glass that have basically dripped inside the float. Some can be thicker than others. It all depends on the float.

Here's an example of a very cool spindle inside a 4" float!

Here is an example of a 3-piece mold float with 2 very fine spindles inside. This is actually very, very rare! I found this float myself on a beachcombing trip along the coast of the Aleutians a couple of years ago. You can imagine how incredibly thrilled I was to find this beauty! It's a total gem & someone would have to pay me a million dollars before I would get rid of it!!! If anyone has that kind of money laying around & would like to buy this float, feel free to contact me!

You might have to enlarge this photo to see the spindles clearly.

All types of floats have spindles, although they are uncommon to rare in most. I have a really cool sausage float with a spindle inside. This one is quite rare, as well. These floats were made in a mold. Here's a photo of it.

I have actually found 2 other floats with spindles out of thousands & thousands I have beachcombed. The filaments of glass are so fine that they can barely be seen. If you consider the journey these floats had out on the ocean & the fact the spindles are still intact, that is quite remarkable.

There is also another category of spindles ~ side spindles. These aren't really comparable to an actual spindle, but sometimes they are pretty cool. Here is an example of a side spindle in a 12" pink float I recently acquired. It's the line on the right.

This occurs when a drop of glass basically dribbles freely on the side. That's the best explanation I can come up with at the moment, but I think you can probably understand what I'm trying to say!!

Sometimes the side spindles are stuck against the interior of the float. Occasionally, they can be quite pronounced & noticeable. I've even seen some that look like ribbons on the inside of the float. I have one in my collection, but no photo at the moment.

Here are a couple of photos of side spindles from floats I sold in my Etsy shop.

So, if you have any glass fishing floats, or find any, be sure to take a close look inside!! You might find yourself a really unique treasure! Feel free to write with any questions.

Here's a little something extra.........

I took this photo in Homer last week while I was delivering a glass float order!

Have a GREAT week!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life is CrAzY!!!

Things have been crazy here & I've sort of neglected my friends in blog land. So, while I'm still working on my other post, here are a few pics from my trip to Homer, AK last Saturday. Enjoy!

Enjoy the rest of your week & be sure to check out my Etsy shop!!